Too much social media may be costing you more than just time—it may be stealing your happiness. In fact, a recent study found that the more time people spent on Facebook, the more likely they were to feel unhappy and lonely.
Don't let your smart phone or social media stop you from enjoying human interactions, and loving your life!
Here are 10 tips on how to slow down and jumpstart some good times!
1. Make a mindful tech assessment.
Start tracking how much you use social media/the internet/your phone. Spend a day noting your usage in a small notebook. You'll be surprised as to how quickly the minutes add up! When you've realized that you spend a total of 3 hours on social media sites (like Facebook/Instagram), aim to cut the usage to 90 minutes ... See if you can do it? If you can, then keep cutting back until you get to a number that makes you proud! If you can’t, negotiate a time limit that feels like a challenge but still feels like an achievable goal.
2. Ask human beings for directions, help, advice, etc.
Remember when we used to be more reliant upon other people? And no, Siri doesn’t count! Instead of looking on your phone, approach actual humans with your questions.
3. Make a “No Phones At The Table" rule.
No phones allowed at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table! Some restaurants have started to incentivize this idea. I read about a high-end restaurant here in Los Angeles that offers discounts on meals if everyone in a party decides to leave their cell phone at the front desk! Brilliant!
4. When someone texts you, call them back.
Yes, a real phone call, in which one person says “Hello.”
5. Buy an oldskool alarm clock.
Don’t use your cell phone as your alarm clock, don't keep it on your nightstand, and (even worse) don't sleep with it on your bed. Charge it in a different room when you sleep, or turn it off until you wake up!
6. Take a tech-ation.
Look at your calendar and schedule a weekend to go on a “tech holiday,” which includes only using your phone to make real phone calls. Try to do absolutely nothing else with your phone. (This means no social media, texting, internet searching, etc.)
7. Get moving with your friends.
Make a plan (by speaking in person or over the phone) to do something physical with friends. Hike, go for a walk, take a yoga class together ... When you're socializing and being physical, you're less likely to multi-task with social media or be on your phone. And if you are, well then hopefully your friends tell you how rude you're being!
8. Reward good behavior.
Reward yourself or others for every activity you do that is not tech related and IS interactive.
9. Find a tribe!
Get your partner or a friend (or a few friends) to take on this goal with you and check in/encourage each other. The more this becomes a group norm within your social circle, the easier this will be!
10. And, if you are really feeling gutsy, temporarily or permanently remove your Facebook App from your phone.
This way your usage will at least be limited to a computer.